The Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Facts
A honey bee is an insect and has a body in three parts, a head, a thorax and an abdomen. It has three pairs of jointed legs, feelers or antennae, and usually two pairs of wings.
It also has:
- – a hard skeleton that is on the outside of its body
- – it will hatch from an egg as a larvae
- – it will undergo metamorphosis as it grows
The honey bee has many extra special extras:
- It uses the sun and other landmarks to find its way.
- It can dance to show other bees where to find food.
- It has a sting to defend itself – but when it stings, the bee dies!!
- It feeds on flowers (nectar and pollen) and pollinates (fertilizes) the flowers at the same time.
- It builds honeycomb nests and makes honey.
Bees are vitally important for everyone. Honey bees make honey by mixing nectar with enzymes and by fanning the mixture with their wings to help the water to evaporate. What’s more, they make beeswax that we can use in cosmetics, candles and furniture polish.
Did you know that bees, including honey bees and bumblebees, pollinate over 250,000 species of plants and more than 100 different crops, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and many of the foods that farm animals rely on?